Second Plane Crash Injures Four At Burning Man

Burning Man
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Four people were critically injured when a small plane crashed Saturday at the Burning Man counterculture festival on the Nevada desert, authorities said.

Larri Frelow, a Federal Aviation Administration operations officer, said the Beechcraft BE-35 crashed on landing in the Black Rock Desert 120 miles north of Reno.

The four were en route to the festival when the plane crashed about 100 yards from the festival air strip, Reno's KTVN-TV reported.

The four were flown to Washoe Medical Center in Reno, where they were listed in critical condition after the 12:11 p.m. crash.

"The plane reportedly lost engine damage,"Frelow said."The aircraft sustained substantial damage."

On Friday, another small plane crash on the Black Rock Desert left one person in the hospital with back injuries and two others with minor injuries, Frelow said.

The 7:01 p.m. crash occurred after the Beechcraft BE-35 reportedly lost engine power on takeoff from the festival air strip, she said. The plane had major damage.

Both crashes are under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.

No names were released in either crash.

More than 25,000 people from around the world converged on the desert for the festival billed as a celebration of radical self-expression and self-reliance.

On Saturday morning, a truck crash near the festival site temporarily blocked access for participants, the Nevada Highway Patrol reported.

But Washoe County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Breaux said no major law enforcement problems were reported.

"I heard things are going very smoothly so far,"he said.

The weeklong event leading up to Labor Day was to climax Saturday night on the ancient lake bed with the ceremonial torching of a 70-high wooden effigy of a man for whom the event is named.